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Quantitative studies on bovine immunoglobulins
  1. MR Williams,
  2. RL Spooner and
  3. LH Thomas


The influence of serum immunoglobulins on the incidence of calf pneumonia, and the relationship between sub-clinical pneumonia, and calf serum Ig levels, is discussed. Monospecific antisera were used to measure levels of IgG1, IgG2, IgM and IgA in the sera of bull calves aged around 2 1/2 weeks. These calves were selected retrospectively according to their disease record up to six months of age. A clear association was found between low levels of IgG1, IgG2 and IgA in the "2 1/2-week" sample and subsequent susceptibility to pneumonia at around 2 1/2 months of age. Calves showing signs of pneumonia had low levels of IgG1 (45-5 per cent had less than 8 mg per ml compared with "now-pneumonic" calves which had relatively high levels (only 9.5 per cent had less than 8 mg per ml). In contrast, older calves bled at monthly intervals and found to have pneumonic lesions at slaughter had significantly evevated levels of both IgGa and IgG2.

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